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CIC grad awarded scholarship to prestigious Yale-NUS College

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Please join CIC teachers and staff in celebrating Sara Haghani on her remarkable academic and personal achievements. Sara has accepted an offer to attend the prestigious Yale-NUS College in Singapore on a first-year scholarship, valued at S$49,700.

Yale-NUS praised Sara in their offer letter, stating that amongst the many who applied to Yale-NUS, you stand out as one of the most energetic, intellectually curious and talented students worldwide.”

According to Quartz Magazine, Yale-NUS’s global acceptance rate of 5% makes it harder to get into than any of the US’s exclusive Ivy League schools.

Yale-NUS went on to appreciate Sara as someone who thrives on challenge, excellence and making a difference in the world.” During her CIC valedictory address in December 2016, Sara called on her fellow graduates to champion their diversity and embrace global citizenship, reminding them that our similarities far outweigh our differences”.

Sara’s commitment to community service helped her stand out in Yale-NUS’s talented applicant pool. During her time at CIC, Sara accumulated a total of 425 community service hours, supporting initiatives such as the 30 Hour Famine for World Vision and fundraisers for the Canadian Cancer Society. She devoted herself to student life, earning a position on each of CIC’s Executive Student Leadership Teams, and winning the Outstanding Leadership Award on each of those teams.

Congratulations, Sara! We wish you the very best on your next adventure.

Live video – Celebrating the graduates of December 2016

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Welcome parents, teachers, friends, and families.

Our warmest congratulations to the class of December 2016!

Join us at 11:00am EDT through a live stream of the event.

The video will be available a few minutes prior to the start of the ceremony at the following link:

See you soon!

CIC advances to CBC Music’s shortlist

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Columbia International College has advanced to a shortlist of finalists in the CBC’s Canadian Music Class Challenge. The Challenge, hosted by CBC Music and in association with MusiCounts, is “looking for Canada’s best music program.” Schools from across Canada were invited to submit a rendition of an iconic Canadian song selected from a list provided by CBC. Encouraging musical diversity, the CBC is eager “to hear everything from jazz bands, kazoo classes and guitar clubs, to hip-hop programs, symphonies and choirs.”

Led by music teacher Jim Lawlis, students in CIC’s “Rockestra” performed a powerful, full-band rendition of “Bobcaygeon” by The Tragically Hip.

This year’s panel of judges includes musicians Marie-Josée Lord, Zach Sutton, Scott Helman, and CBC Tempo host Julie Nesrallah.

Out of hundreds of submissions, the judges selected the top ten performances across six categories of different ages and arrangements. CIC’s Rockestra was placed in the “High School Vocal/Choral (a cappella or with band)” category.

CBC Music will announce the winners on December 16th. CIC would like to wish all participants good luck!

Watch CIC’s performance here:

See all the High School Vocal/Choral shortlist performances:

All of the shortlist performances and other videos are available on CBC Music’s YouTube channel

More information on the CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge can be found here and here.

CBC Canadian Music Class Challenge

UPO hosts exciting tours of top universities

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The University Placement Office (UPO) has been running a number of trips to take students to visit the University of Toronto (Mississauga), University of Waterloo, York University, Brock University, Western University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and Ryerson University. These trips are run on Saturday or Sunday, and run annually October through the end of November.

The trips offer our students opportunities to learn about university programs, admission processes, and study life. They also create time to talk to current students, professors, and admission staff about their interests and concerns, and allow the students to explore whether these are universities they like to attend in the future. 

CIC is the best pathway to top universities. These trips offer valuable experiences to the students, and remain a vital component of the Total Care Education System.


The OSSLT goes online on October 20th

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On October 20th, students at Columbia International College will write the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test.

“The Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) measures whether or not students are meeting the minimum standard for literacy across all subjects up to the end of Grade 9. Successful completion of the literacy test is one of the requirements to earn an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.”

As part of the EQAO Online project, October 20th marks the first time the OSSLT will be conducted online.

Lots of useful information is available via the EQAO website. We encourage students and parents to learn about the new format, and contact the CIC Academic Office with any questions they may have.

EQAO have also published a Student Handout, which outlines three advantages to taking this year’s test online.


Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test


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2016年9月20日,哥伦比亚国际学院前教师Geoffrey Burnet因涉嫌犯罪受到警方指控。目前,哥伦比亚国际学院已经解雇Burnet,并正在配合警方调查。

  • Burnet受到指控的犯罪行为发生在2007-2008期间
  • Burnet于2014年11月开始担任哥伦比亚国际学院合约教师,受聘之前通过了无犯罪调查与高危界别审查
  • 警方表示, Burnet所受指控与哥伦比亚国际学院及其学生无任何关系


Steven Saunders | Principal
Columbia International College
1003 Main Street West | Hamilton Ontario L8S 4P3
P:905-572-7883 Ex: 2909

警方报告:Press Release – Hamilton Police

Statement regarding police investigation

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Posted September 22nd, 2016

Last updated on October 2nd, 2016 @10:17am

Mr. Geoffrey Burnet commenced contract employment at Columbia International College in November 2014 following completion of a clean police and vulnerable sector screening report.  Columbia International College has terminated the employment of Mr. Geoffrey Burnet as of September 20, 2016, and Columbia International College is cooperating with local police forces in their investigation of Mr. Burnet. 

Columbia International College has been advised by police that the charges against Mr. Burnet relate to sexual misconduct in Hamilton in 2007/8. All of the misconducts are not related to any Columbia International College students, or the College itself.

CIC Statement Page

Press Release – Hamilton Police

Steve Saunders
Columbia International College
905-572-7883 x2909

Top universities visit CIC

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Mark your calendars!

The academic year is in full swing, and top Canadian universities are excited to meet CIC students! The country’s top schools are making a point of visiting Columbia International College, and university representatives will be hosting events to present key information and answer participant questions.

Here’s the who, where, and when for the month of September—we hope to see you at an event!

Universities visit CIC in September 2016


The Duke of Edinburgh Award Program

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It’s 4:00pm on a Friday, and for the fifth day in a row, Chris Vander Deen is preparing CIC’s Student Lounge to host another eager group of students. They’ve been joining the sessions all week to learn more about enrolling in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Program. It isn’t long before another student walks in and politely asks “Mr Chris” for a moment of his time. “It’s a big commitment… would I be able to stop without penalty if I get too busy or it gets too difficult?”

Mr Chris has heard the question a thousand times before. It would take little thought on his part to snap out a factual answer. He chooses a different approach.

“The program is about challenging yourself, pushing yourself. It can be uncomfortable, and it can get busy. The nice thing is that everyone here wants you to succeed, and will work with you to find a path forward.” It’s a kindness that’s familiar to those who know Chris. He has intuited that listening and encouragement will help unlock the best in students.

He begins his presentation as more students trickle in, whether to learn about the award or to submit their registration forms. While students can register at any time during the year, Mr Chris always recommends that they start early and co-ordinate the program with a graduation date.

Prince Philip founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 1956. He hoped to foster a sense of responsibility among young people and their communities. Recognized in 130 countries, the program asks young people commit to an action plan of personal growth. The plan has four requirements that participants must meet to qualify. Participants commit to learn or develop a skill, engage in community service, stay physically active, and partake in an adventurous journey. The award program has two levels of distinction, Silver and Bronze. Mr Chris recommends 6–8 months to complete the Bronze program, and a full calendar year to complete Silver.

“The best universities are looking for students who get more than high marks—they are looking for young adults who participate fully in their communities, who push their limits to see what they are really capable of,” says Mr Chris.

While there isn’t a scholarship formally attached to the award, Mr Chris believes the program pays huge personal dividends, transforms the student, and helps him/her stand out in a competitive talent pool. “The Duke of Edinburgh award puts one’s character development above everything else.”

The excitement in the room is palpable as Mr Chris describes each of the four requirements. “For your activity selections, we encourage you to find something you love. Don’t settle for something just to meet the requirements—find a new skill or nurture one you already have, and push yourself.”

The students are more hesitant when it comes to the adventurous journey—a culminating camping trip that has participants relying on their skills and relationships to overcome a challenge in uncomfortable territory. There is a mandatory one hour meeting each week leading up to the journey, where participants will learn wilderness safety, first-aid, and survival tips. “We’ll teach you everything you’ll need to have an amazing time,” beams Mr Chris.

“All in all, the experience will teach you more about yourself than many of your classes. If you let it, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Program will have an incredibly positive and lasting impact on your life.”

For more information, you can visit the 2nd floor Study Lounge and speak with Mr Chris or Mr Tony. You can also send Mr Chris an email.